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31 Internet Fraudsters Bag Jail Terms in Enugu, Awka

The Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has secured the conviction and sentencing of 31 internet fraudsters by Justices Mohammed Garba Umar of the Federal High Court, sitting in Enugu and Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, sitting in Awka, Anambra State.

EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale stated this in a statement on Monday.

He listed the convicts to include Pascal Chinedu, Chiemerie Edeh, Okeke Chiagozie Harrison, Chidera Victor Mmadu, Chizoba Onyedika Felix, Ekperechi David, Sunday John Cross, Enenta Ebube Michael, Nwankwo Tochukwu Firminus, Chukwuebuka Sebastine Ozoemena, Vincent Eduvie, Chisom Mbagu Augustine, Ifeanyi Samuel, Abunoko Kelly, Ikechukwu Joshua, Agada Daniel Olema, Eguiri Franklyn and Akpoze Julius.

Others are, Evans Odibo, Martins Chinedu Ugwueke, Eli Izuchukwu Ogbonna, Samuel Ogbonnia, Amarachi Abigail Nwalue, Abraham Chimeremeze, Godbless Akpoze, Mmoyekwe Okwudili, Emmanuel Nwanga, Eduje Precious, Umoke Chinedu Reuben, Godwin Happy and Nnabuike Collins Odoh.

While Chinedu, Edeh, Harrison, Mmadu, Felix, David, Cross, Michael, Firminus and Ozoemena were arraigned on February 21, 2024 before Justice Umar, the remaining 21 convicts were arraigned on February 22, 2024 before Justice Dimgba.

The 31 faced one-count separate charges bordering on fraudulent impersonation, obtaining by false pretence and possession of fraudulent documents, to which they all pleaded “guilty.”

Onyedika’s charge reads: “That you, Chizoba Onyedika Felix, sometime in February 2024, in Asaba, Delta State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud, sent a message to one Sig Serdel, a German National by means of your Redmi Note 11 through your fake telegram account +19086996877 presenting yourself as Loraine Francis, Bitcoin investor and obtained the sum of $1,300 from Sig Serdel and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14 (2) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under the same Section.”

In view of their “guilty” pleas, Nuradeen Shehu Ingawa and Michael Ikechukwu Ani, counsels to the EFCC, reviewed the facts of the cases and prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly, while C. J. Nwatadi, Bernard Okeke, U. AKposi, Arinze Anyigo , C. S. Nwobodo, E. C. Chinyeze and Collins Akpusi, who were defence counsels, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, stating that their clients were first-time offenders.

Justice Umar convicted and sentenced Michael, Ozoemena, Cross, Chiedu and Firminus to 12 months imprisonment each, with a fine option of N500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) respectively. He handed 24 months imprisonment with a fine option of N750,000.00 (Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) to Felix, sentenced Harrison and Mmadu to 18 months imprisonment each, with a fine option of N500,000.00 respectively. He also sentenced Edeh to 10 months imprisonment with a fine option of N300 ( Three Hundred Naira) while David bagged six months imprisonment with a fine option of N200,000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira). In addition to his sentence, Justice Umar ordered Felix to make a restitution of the sum of $1,300 (One Hundred and Thirty Thousand Dollars) to his victim through the Federal Government.

Justice Dimgba convicted and sentenced Odoh and Olema to one year imprisonment each, with a fine option of N150,000.00 ( One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) respectively, while the rest 19 were sentenced to two weeks community service.

All the convicts forfeited their mobile phones recovered from them to the Federal Government.

They bagged their imprisonment after they were arrested at various locations by operatives of the Enugu Zonal Command of the EFCC for their involvement in internet-related offences.

They were charged to court and convicted.

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Lagos clampdown on illegal estate development

The Lagos State Government has clamped down on illegal estate developments around the Epe corridor of the state.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Oluyinka Olumide, said this in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.

He stated that he led a special joint exercise to the axis on Thursday and Friday, based on the directive of the state executive council.

He mentioned some of the areas covered during the exercise to include: Alaro City, Okorisan, Igbodu, Molajoye, Shaala, Ketu, and Epe.

Olumide said notices were also served on estate developments such as Patriot Bay Estate, Smart City Estate, the Legend and Hilton Royal Garden.

Others are Greenland Estate, Legacy City, Isinmi Lagos, Dominion City, Topview Estate, and Ibi Alafia, among others.

He pointed out that erring estate developers were requested to visit relevant authorities to perfect their documents.

According to him, under no circumstances should any developer go ahead to start the development of estates without obtaining layout approval, planning permit, and fencing permit as may be required.

The commissioner added that the requirements were necessary to ensure the attainment of an organised, livable and sustainable built environment.

Olumide explained that layout approval was required for proper arrangement of the estate to give room for appropriate services and infrastructure, while the planning permit addressed the planning requirements on individual plots in the estate.

He urged property up-takers and buyers to be wary of investing in estates without approval, to avoid needless embarrassment from government officials.

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Police detain ADC to Fmr. Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello

The aide-de-camp (ADC) to former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has been arrested and detained by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The Female police officer and others were arrested days after the former governor evaded arrest by EFCC operatives on Wednesday, April 17.

The officers were taken into custody on suspicion of aiding and abetting Bello’s escape from EFCC operatives.

The anti-graft agency had stormed Bello’s house to arrest him over allegations of money laundering and financial misconduct while in office.

The Nigeria Police Force has yet to release an official statement regarding the arrests, but police sources say the officers could face charges related to obstruction of justice or conspiracy to hinder a law enforcement operation.

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Zamfara govt suspends commandant state security outfit over allegations of poor funding

The Zamfara State Government has suspended the Commandant of the local security outfit, Community Protection Guards, CPG, Colonel Rabiu Garba (retd).

This is contained in a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mallam Abubakar Nakwadahe and made available to newsmen in Gusau, the State capital.

The statement said in part, “This is to inform the general public that, Zamfara State government has suspended Colonel Rabiu Garba as Commandant of the state Community Protection Guards”.

“The suspension takes immediate effect”.

According to DAILY POST no reason for his suspension was given but it was gathered that the suspension may not be unconnected with the radio live program he granted where he accused the state government of poor funding of the Community Protection Guards.

In a radio live program at the Vision FM radio Gusau, Colonel Garba said the state government has failed to give financial support to the Protection Guards.

He lamented that since their inauguration, the state government has not provided them with any takeoff grant.

Garba also said the officials of the protection guards were paid their salary only once since they were appointed four months ago.

He said members of the Community Protection Guards have been suffering from poor funding from the state government, a situation which he said has been crippling their activities in the fight against banditry.

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